Killing Diversity – the Pasteurization of Cultures

Killing Diversity — the Homogenization and Pastuerization of Cultures

Over the weekend we were invited to a lovely dinner party with an eclectic assortment of people. I immediately found myself deep in conversation with a lovely lady from Greece who told me of her favorite technique for making goat’s milk ricotta. The passion and enthusiasm that came through as she described just how the milk is heated and the lemon juice added was simply delicious. I could practically taste the fresh cheese myself. She was soon onto bewailing the fact that she could only get whole milk, pasteurized and homogenized and that the percentage of fat even in the adulterated full cream milk is ridiculously low in comparison to the percentage she was used to when she made it in Greece with raw milk from local goats. (More info: Manipulated ‘Milk’ and the Loss of the Creamline)

I have met so many people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds who have a rich tradition steeped in making various cultured cheeses from fresh unadulterated raw milk. I always find it exciting to listen to them tell of their favorite technique, whether it is making paneer, cottage cheese, cheese curds, mozzerella or simply yogurt. All of them have their own method and speak of it with such passion and animation it actually causes me to salivate just from imagining the delightful dishes.

Considering all of these tales of traditional food preparation it occurred to me that the current push for unilateral pasteurization of milk is on the same timeline as the rise in fear of anyone who is different, who wears different clothes, speaks a different language or has a different culture. It is interesting to note that one of the very first steps that Nazi Germany took in their mission to exterminate Jews, gypsies and anyone different was to ban the practice of kosher butchery (shechitah). Three months after the Nazi party took power–in August 1933–kosher butchery was outlawed. This was the first step down the slippery slope towards ‘normalizing’ the dehumanization of the Jews and ‘others’ and the move towards standardizing every aspect of the lives of the remaining masses.

It is interesting to note that this racist ban has reared it’s ugly head again, in 2010 kosher and halal butchery were banned in New Zealand (I think the ban has been repealed but don’t quote me on that) and just last year Holland, which has recently gained the label of one of the most racist countries in Europe (after kowtowing to the US corporate pressure) for their treatment of Muslims came very close to banning the religious practice of slaughtering animals in the Kosher or Halal tradition. The push for this came under the guise of ‘animal rights’ with this movement being used to declare it to be inhumane–despite the fact that stunning animals can often be more damaging to the animals than the ritual manner used by kosher or halal butchers. Clearly, it is a racist tactic to drive people of a different culture out by destabilizing them via removing their ability to process food in their traditional manner.

This revival of fascist attacks on religious meat processing runs parallel to the North American tactic of insisting on unilateral pasteurization of milk despite the fact that for generations cultures from all over the world–from Africa to India–have successfully processed their own milk from their own animals in the manner that their forefathers/mothers passed down to them. This fear of raw milk is being used as a scapegoat to avoid the fact that industrial farming and dairying are the root of modern food safety issues.

Over and over again throughout history fascist colonizers (who think it is their right to control and exploit the world and humanity as they see fit) target traditional food preparation rituals first. It isn’t hard to see that food is a basic necessity. Everyone has to eat every day to survive. If you control the food you control the culture. If people can’t eat in the manner they are accustomed they will no longer have the nutrition or the security and continuity of the rituals that are the backbone of their lifestyles. This is very destabilizing. We all need our simple daily habits to rely on so that we can pursue other activities, whether it be work or pleasure. It is the foundation of life. Once the daily rituals are altered or controlled by industry a vulnerability is created. People no longer have their grounding and who are constantly subjected to stress, are easily pushed into a fear mentality which makes them easier to control, push around and made to feel subordinate.

I am a member of a cowshare that I find very interesting as I am always meeting people from different cultures. The other day I was speaking to a Hindu from India who told me of how he wished his temple could have access to raw milk for the free meals they provide to their community. I recently met another family from Croatia who told me the only way their son was surviving and growing was because of the nourishing raw milk they had access to. I have met people from Japan, Holland, Italy, France and many more who all tell me of their unique traditions.

My sister worked as the COO of a medical facility serving low income families in Chicago. Their patients include immigrant families as well as families that have lived in the city for generations. One of the remarkable things they noticed is that families who have recently immigrated to the US who still follow their traditional food preparation rituals have children who are much healthier than the families who have succumbed to the instant industrialized highly processed foods that are cheap and easy to eat, right out of the package.

It is increasingly obvious that diversity is our main hope for the future of our world. This push for homogenization of culture, whether it be through forced pasteurization of milk or through the repression of culture through the mass-media stimulated fear of anyone different will be the downfall of us all. We recently watched a documentary produced by the BBC in 2010 on how the wildlife is surviving in Cherynobl. They highlighted the mouse population which, despite the fact that they are consuming radioactive food, breathing radioactive air and sleeping on radioactive ground, are incredibly healthy and display no genetic mutation. In their exploration into why this population is so untouched by the radiation they discovered that the genetic diversity of the mice population is very great. The original mice that lived there were wiped out and the various families of mice from the surrounding areas soon moved in and interbred.

To create stability and to survive in our modern unstable world our hope is in the amazing and beautiful diversity of people, cultures and food preparation techniques. The monoculture deserts industrial agriculture has created make it easy for them to process the food at minimum cost, but are very unstable. Mass pasteurization of milk is not a guaranteed solution to preventing food-borne illness. It is an illusion that is promoted by media that also promotes the illogical notion that anyone who talks a little different, dresses a little different or even walks a little different is to be feared

We need original ideas and an ability to listen to each other to survive. Homogenization and the killing of diverse cultures is guaranteed to fail, this has been proven historically–and as we have seen it causes a lot of unnecessary suffering in the process.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. jonas

    I just finished my lunch which included raw milk from one of my beef cows that had a bit extra,so i relieve her of it. Then I finished with desert of raw milk yogurt made from our goats milk that i had milked a few days ago.

    When i make my smoothie for my second breakfast, in the morning, it is two or three raw eggs, cup or two of raw goats milk kefir, cup or two of raw goats mikl, some honey, to taste, some fruit, blackberries, blue berries, some times apple sauce, bit of salt, some cayanne pepper,azomite minerals, mix in my blender and enjoy the energy it gives me.

    My family four children had raw milk all their growing up years, i come from a family of sixteen that were raised on raw milk, now i know u should know your farmer when you are buying raw milk but it is soooo much better for you and safer the the other stuff which is no longer milk after the processing that is done.

    1. hellaD

      Wow that smoothie sounds incredible. I haven’t heard of azomite minerals I will have to look it up.

      Yes you are so right that pasteurization is no guarantee that you will not get sick. It is much better to boost your health, beneficial microbes and immunity by using raw milk from grass-fed cows. YUM 🙂

  2. Ana

    I must disagree with your post and advise people. I have now been very ill for a month because of raw milk – i was just diagnosed with Brucellosis, gotten from a trip overseas. It is ESSENTIAL the pasteurization of the milk. I have NEVER being feeling so sick in my entire life.

    1. hellaD

      Thanks Ana,

      I am very sorry about your illness. You are right we all need to be very careful where we get our raw milk from. Only get it from dairies where you know the cows and how they are treated.

    2. Bernie

      Ana, I’m sorry you are so sick from raw milk. If you ate fish and it made you sick would you want a complete ban on fish? The same can be said regarding any food.

      Far more people drink raw milk then get sick by it. That is a well known fact.

      These days it does not matter what you eat, whatever you put in your mouth has the potential to make you sick. Everything from lettuce to meat has been known to make people sick. We simply can’t stop eating on the off chance we may get sick.

      Maybe you should take a walk around some of the dairy’s that provide you with pasteurized milk. Cows standing and laying in shit and mud up to their udders. Cows eating a diet they were not meant to eat. Cows that never see the sun and never eat a blade of grass. Yea, that sounds like great milk to drink. There are trade offs for everything we eat.

      The best thing anyone can do regarding raw milk, is know and trust your farmer. Sadly even that won’t always keep you safe, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

  3. Carri

    I am also re-posting on my blog. Love and really gotta share!

  4. Carri

    Love it and really do see the parallels! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Carri

      Here is the link should you want to check it out.

        1. hellaD

          Wow thanks Carri!
          I love your site by the way 🙂 Great name. I have to add you to the blogroll 🙂

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